I got to stop into WinterAlm this past weekend and what a treat. It’s in the marketplace area of STREET’za at 801 Islington St., Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Karen and Dieter Reuther are the organizers of this cozy German pop-up market.
I picked up a loaf of Stollen, the traditional Advent fruit cake, and some tasty cookies called Heidesand made with marzipan. They have great little holiday ornaments and unique gifts there and you can peruse the market while tasting some Lebkuchen and sipping the traditional hot spiced wine called Glühwein. They also have some German dishes being served in STREET’za’s beer garden-like dining area like Schupfnudeln, a thick noodle-dumpling much like gnocchi, and Almwurst, their version of bratwurst. Go to www.winteralm.com to find out more.
Below, I’m including my recipe for Heidesand which, legend has it, I used to enjoy when I was a tiny kid. My recipe does not have marzipan. It’s more like a brown butter shortbread cookie, so do go in and get some of WinterAlm’s, too, if you happen to be in Portsmouth. They’re delicious.
Makes about 50
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 c. white granulated sugar
2 T. milk
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2¾ c. all-purpose flour
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
Pearl sugar (a coarse sugar used for baking that doesn’t melt during baking. You can use regular sugar in a pinch)
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, whisking frequently, until it simmers and brown bits appear at the bottom of the pan. Whisk until the the butter reaches a rich brown color. Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until frothy. Add the sugar, milk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Form the mixture into a mass. The dough will be dry. Place the dough onto a clean work surface and form two logs about 1-inch in diameter. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the chilled dough into ¼-inch thick rounds. Roll the edges of each cookie in pearl sugar and place on a lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, turning the cookie sheet around halfway into it to ensure even baking. Bake until the edges of the cookies are just barely turning golden. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
— Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner who lives in Exeter, New Hampshire (and Austin, Texas). She can be reached by email at email@example.com. Read more of her Dining Out reviews online.